The weather has shifted in New York, it's been humid and damp. It is now feeling a bit sticky and hot. For those of you who missed it, check out my previous post on how to achieve clean radiant skin. To me, everyday should be Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though there are more research and breakthroughs happening, at this time in the United States, about one out of every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her life. That’s why I wanted to focus on lymphatic drainage today and go into depth on what it is and how it can help both those battling breast cancer or for any types of cancer, as well as those looking to increase your overall health and wellness:
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a massage technique that was originally developed to help treat lymphedema, a medical condition in which fluid accumulates in your body due to the lymphatic system not working properly. Many women who undergo a mastectomy to eradicate breast cancer also have their lymph nodes removed during the surgery, resulting in lymphedema. Part of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system plays a vital role in the immune system by keeping the body’s fluids in balance and clearing out toxins. Specifically, the lymph nodes are key because they produce and store cells that help to combat disease and infections. When the lymphatic system does not function optimally, as with lymphedema, it can lead to swelling and difficulty. This is why MLD was invented to do the job that the lymphatic system (when healthy) typically does on its own.
Those who live with lymphedema or other issues with their lymphatic system are typically the best candidates for manual lymphatic drainage, as the technique was indeed established to treat the disease. However, it can also benefit those who are perfectly healthy and looking to increase their health, wellness, and appearance, as lymphatic drainage also has detoxifying and anti-aging benefits. Similar to how microcurrent technology was originally created to help patients suffering from Bell’s Palsy but can now be found in the top spas across the country, manual lymphatic drainage treatments have been adopted into the spa and beauty community. Knowing it’s amazing benefits, I have incorporated lymphatic drainage into my own personal routine for years, as well as in the treatment room in the form of microcurrent technology, jade rolling, and Gua Sha. Because lymphatic drainage helps to move fluid and toxins that are stagnant in your body, it’s perfect for de-puffing the face (the puffiness is typically a result of stagnant water). Additionally, lymphatic drainage can help to clear your sinuses when you’re under the weather and can even help eradicate the appearance of cellulite. Personally, I use my trampoline daily for 10 minutes to move my lymphs and it's so much fun.
The good news is that there are a variety of simple ways to perform manual lymphatic drainage on yourself at home. From dry brushing to Gua Sha, utilizing a few simple tools can help ensure your lymphatic system is keeping fluids moving and getting rid of toxins. Dry brushing is amazing for helping to stimulate your lymphatic system. For an easy guide to dry brushing, see my previous article here. Also, as we approach the Fall season, I love this DIY Sinus Gua Sha Massage to help eliminate inflammation in your sinuses that comes along with the common cold. Another way to incorporate this into your routine and to help rid you of under-eye bags and puffiness is to use a jade roller to get the stagnant fluid to drain and leave you looking well rested. Finally, for those of you who prefer to try this method the good old fashioned way, check out my 3-minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage video you can perform on yourself using just your hands.
Have you heard of manual lymphatic drainage? Did you know that it could help you achieve a variety of health and beauty goals, while also helping to treat lymphedema? Let me know if you try out my suggestions and how they keep you looking and feeling amazing!
With all my love, Cecilia